M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentLevav Ben
SubjectUsing Partitions as a Protection Meeasure against
the Dispersion of Chemical Agents in Buildings
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisors PROF. Boaz Golany
MR Eilam Gofer


The threat of accidental or intentional release of toxic materials (e.g., toxic industrial chemicals or chemical warfare agents) in buildings is plausible. However, a systematic approach for protecting building occupant's, which does not possess personal protection equipment, is lacking.

In this study we first propose using Air Impregnable Screens (AIS) as a systematic approach to cope with this threat. Our objective was to assess the efficiency of AIS, and provide a tool for supporting decision making regarding its deployment.

For this purpose a mathematical descriptive model was developed. This model took as input the structure of the building, the location of the toxic material source, its chemical and physical characteristics, and the detecting sensor capabilities. The output from the model was a function that quantified the relationship between the number of expected casualties and the number of AIS and their deployment. As mentioned above, one of the parameters that comprised the input to our model was the structure of the building. In the model, it is represented by an undirected connected simple graph. The vertex set of the graph is the set of all rooms and hulls, and the edge set includes all the connections between them (e.g., doors and windows).

The AIS are located on the edges of the graph. Therefore, any given AIS layout can be represented by a sub-set of the edge set. Hence, an activated screen is a disconnected edge that limits the dispersion of the toxic material. The dispersion of toxic material through the building is based on a model by Lieber, which is an adaptation of a dispersion model proposed by Karlsson et al. Based on this, we were able to determine a casualties minimizing AIS layout for any given number of AIS, and thus compute a cost-benefit function that quantifies the relationship between the number of AIS and the number of casualties.